Davis Mountains State Park
Guide

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Introduction

Perched about a mile above sea level in the Davis Mountains of West Texas, Davis Mountains State Park boasts stunning views, miles of multi-use trails, and a rich natural and cultural history. Developed between 1933 and 1935, Davis Mountains State Park was one of the earliest Civilian Conservation Corps projects in Texas, and it has been enthralling visitors ever since—offering the perfect combination of rich history and boundless outdoor adventure for your next RV trip.

Hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians will enjoy the park’s more than 11 miles of multi-use trails, including the historic Old CCC Trail, which was used by the CCC during the park’s construction in the 1930s. Birders will meanwhile enjoy hunkering down at the Emory Oak Wildlife Viewing Area to spot some of the park’s 260 species of birds, and history buffs can revel in the park’s rich history through viewing exhibits at the park’s Interpretive Center, stopping by the CCC-constructed Indian Lodge, and taking a drive along the CCC-built five-mile scenic Skyline Drive within the park.

The park offers visitors a range of great RV camping options, with 34 water and electric sites, and 27 full hookup sites. While the park is open year-round, peak season runs from March through Labor Day, and the park’s mile-high altitude means cool summer days with crisp nights, and occasional snowfalls in winter.

RV Rentals in Davis Mountains State Park

Transportation in Davis Mountains State Park

Driving

While Davis Mountains State Park may feel remote—sitting three hours from El Paso near the small town of Fort Davis—the park and its surrounding area have plenty to offer, which is all manageable in an RV. The park entrance is located just off State Highway 118N, and roads and pads within the park are paved. It’s worth noting, though, that there are some tight turns within the park, so move slowly in those areas and watch out for possible scraping branches.

Within the park, visitors can dine at Black Bear Restaurant at Indian Lodge, and can pick up gifts, clothing, and novelty items from the Texas State Parks Store located in the Indian Lodge Gift Shop. For more extensive supplies, visitors can make the short drive to the town of Fort Davis, which has several restaurants, gas stations, and a grocery store.

While in the area, consider checking out the nearby attractions of Fort Davis National Historic Site, McDonald Observatory, and Scenic Loop Drive—a 75-mile loop drive through the Davis Mountains, beginning and ending in Fort Davis.

Parking

Parking is available at each site and in designated areas throughout the park, including in overflow lots near the campgrounds and at Indian Lodge.

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Davis Mountains State Park

Campsites in Davis Mountains State Park

Reservations camping

Full Hookup Area Campsites

Guests wanting a full hookup site should plan to head to sites 1-27, which offer water, electric, sewer, and even cable TV hookups. These sites are spread across two loops, with sites 1-16 in the lower loop, and sites 17-27 in the upper loop. Bigger rigs should try to stay in the lower section (sites 1-16), as the upper loop sites are not all level and may require some leveling front-to-back. These sites feature a picnic table, fire ring, cable TV hookup, 30 amp and 50 amp hookups, and have restrooms with showers nearby. An amphitheater is located within the upper loop, and guests in either loop can take advantage of easy access to Skyline Drive Trail. These sites can be reserved online.

Electric Area Campsites

Guests have a number of options for campsites at Davis Mountains State Park. There are 34 RV sites with water and electricity, offering 20 amp and 30 amp hookups. These 34 sites are spread across two different loops. Sites 46-61 are close to the Interpretive Center, while sites 28-45 are further up the park road, closer to the full hookup sites. Guests can make use of the dump station located on Park Road 3A, near the entrance to sites 28-45. All sites have a fire ring and/or a grill, as well as a picnic table. Guests in both areas can also take advantage of Skyline Drive Trail, which can be easily accessed from the park road in between the entrances of these two loops. Sites in both areas offer easy access to restrooms and can be reserved online.

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Davis Mountains State Park

In-Season

Horseback Riding

Equestrians who want to soak in the beauty of Davis Mountains State Park on horseback will be happy to know that the park’s multi-use trails also allow horses. Bring your horse and enjoy the park’s 11 miles of trails on horseback, riding from 4,900 feet high at Limpia Creek to over 5,700 feet high at a scenic overlook. If you bring your horse for an overnight stay, you can take advantage of one of the six equestrian or six primitive campsites in the Limpia Canyon Primitive Area.

Mountain Biking

Visitors who prefer to explore the park and its stunning scenery by bike instead of by foot can mountain bike Davis Mountains State Park’s miles of multi-use trails. Those looking for a moderately difficult ride can hop on Limpia Creek Trail, which starts on a flat trail through Limpia Canyon and then slowly climbs 550 feet to Sheep Pen Canyon Loop junction, offering gorgeous views of the Davis Mountains. Mountain bikers looking for a long ride with even more views can hop onto the five and a half-mile Sheep Pen Canyon Loop from there and wind through oak-juniper forests, high desert grasslands, and enjoy some of the park’s most beautiful views.

Hiking

Davis Mountains State Park offers several miles of great hiking trails that connect visitors with the natural history, cultural history, stunning views, and diverse wildlife throughout the park. Hikers looking for an easy, scenic walk can hop onto the 0.3 mile one-way Headquarters Trail, which offers views of Keesey Canyon below and a 35-million-year-old lava flow above, and ends at the Emory Oak Wildlife Viewing Area. Those looking for a more challenging hike should head to Indian Lodge Trail, which stretches one and a half miles one-way starting from behind Indian Lodge, and ascends to breathtaking views of the Davis Mountains. Visitors eager to reconnect with the park’s history should check out the four and a half-mile Skyline Drive Trail, which features historic buildings and views of Fort Davis, or the two-mile CCC trail, which was used by the CCC during 1930s park construction and which connects with a trail to the Fort Davis National Historic Site.

Off-Season

Indian Lodge

History buffs interested in connecting with the Civilian Conservation Corps’ legacy in the Davis Mountains should make sure to check out Indian Lodge, the historic 39-room hotel within the park, which stands as the pinnacle of CCC construction at the park. When it was first completed in 1935, the original 16-room adobe structure was considered an architectural masterpiece, and it has since stood the test of time. The men of the CCC used centuries-old adobe construction to mold the bricks and used locally harvested materials for the interior touches.

Interpretive Center

With its rich natural and cultural heritage, Davis Mountains State Park is teeming with interesting stories about its past, and anyone interested in learning more can head straight to the park’s Interpretive Center. Located along Park Road 3A, the Interpretive Center offers exhibits on the park’s history, flora, and fauna, as well as an indoor bird blind overlooking a wildlife watering station. The park also offers a Junior Ranger Program for children interested in learning more about nature, which visitors can get more information about at the Interpretive Center.

Birding

Visitors eager to spot some of Davis Mountains State Park’s over 260 species of birds can rest easy knowing that this park is home to the Emory Oak Wildlife Viewing Area, which has been referred to as the “best little bird blind in Texas” and the “fanciest little bird blind in Texas.” This blind features a shielded outside patio, an enclosed viewing station, as well as watering and feeding stations. Birders can look out for Montezuma quail, common black hawk, black-headed grosbeak, scrub jay, white-winged dove, and acorn woodpecker. The park has even been recognized by the American Bird Conservancy as a Globally Important Bird Area.

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